There’s no need to be negative says player-coach

Ryan Bainbrough stops a point blank effort by Bison Russ Cowley
Ryan Bainbrough stops a point blank effort by Bison Russ Cowley
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Peterborough Phantoms player-coach Tom Norton insists there is no need for negativity following a recent slump in form.

The city team have slipped to third place in a thrilling NIHL Division One South title race after being beaten by two of their fellow silverware hopefuls last weekend.

Phantoms went down 4-1 in Swindon last Saturday when also losing top spot in the standings to the Wildcats. They then slipped up 5-3 to Basingstoke on home ice 24 hours later.

Those two losses mean Phantoms have now been beaten in seven of their 13 league games since lifting the NIHL Autumn Cup on a memorable December night when Norton delivered a dramatic winning goal.

They now go in search of glory in another knockout competition this weekend when facing Bracknell in an NIHL South Cup semi-final.

The teams do battle in Berkshire on Saturday (6pm) ahead of a Sunday return at Planet Ice (5.30pm).

“We can’t dwell on the disappointment of last weekend,” stressed Norton. “There is definitely no need to be negative as we are still well in the hunt for the league title and also have the chance to reach a cup final.

“Getting down on ourselves would be the worst thing in this situation. We have to stay positive.

“Of course we’re reviewing the last few games and trying to correct the issues that have led to us conceding a lot of goals – particularly the short-handed ones – but the main thing is to look forward.

“We just need to step back and think about the season we’re having. We’ve already won ourselves a cup and went 14 games unbeaten at one stage.

“Teams are always going to have the odd rough patch and this might be our little dip in form.

“We’re the only ones who can drag ourselves out if and hopefully we can start turning things around this weekend in the semi-final.

“We also still have games in hand in the league. We have proven that we can beat anyone at this level and we’ve got to get back to doing that on a regular basis.”

Phantoms finished top of the NIHL South Cup standings in the group stage with results in each club’s first home and away clashes counting towards this competition. Bracknell were fourth.

Swindon and Basingstoke do battle in the other semi-final.